Jennings: Injury prevents re-election bid in Cumberland

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No contests in council, School Board elections

CUMBERLAND — Barring any write-in campaigns, it is likely that everyone who submitted nomination papers for next month’s Town Council and School Board elections will win.

Councilors Mike Perfetti and Jon Jennings have chosen not to run again.

Peter Bingham of Brook Road, a former member of the Planning Board, and Michael Edes of Edes Road, who ran for the Town Council in 2011, are running for those two open seats.

Perfetti has served two terms on the council, while Jennings was appointed in January to replace Steve Moriarty, who resigned after being elected to the state House of Representatives.

Jennings – an entrepreneur who helped bring the Maine Red Claws professional basketball team to Portland and who was named South Portland assistant city manager in February – said Tuesday that he has rehabilitation ahead after a back injury last month. The injury would make it difficult for him to actively campaign, including going door-to-door and climbing steps, he said.

Jennings, who in January said he planned to seek re-election in June, said this week that he is “incredibly disappointed” he is not able to run, because “the town needs new ideas.”

He said his decision not to run had nothing to do with his job in South Portland.

Bill Dunnett and Jim Bailinson, incumbents on the School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors, are not seeking re-election. Bethany Hanley of West Branch Road and Geraldine Sanchez of Shady Run Lane are running for those seats.

This year also sees a new Cumberland representative seat on the School Board. Former board member Karen Campbell of Stonewall Drive is running for that seat.

Population change prompted the now-eight-member board to change its composition. Cumberland’s population in the 2010 census grew to 7,211, nearly 67 percent of the district’s total population; North Yarmouth’s population was 3,565.

The School Board now has five members from Cumberland and three from North Yarmouth. Adding a sixth Cumberland representative increases the town’s representation to two-thirds, matching its share of the SAD 51 population.

Election Day is June 11.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Cumberland Town Councilor Jon Jennings.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.